More than 285 million people in the world are blind whose lives are about to become way better. The first Braille smartwatch of the world has been created by South Korean developer Dot. The features of this smartwatch are exactly what one can expect from a 21st century device.
4 active dynamic Braille cells are deployed by the Dot in order to display information. The users can also choose the speed at which the characters update. Similar to other smartwatches, the Dot is connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth and can receive any text from any app or service (think Messenger, directions from Google Maps, etc.)
Furthermore, users can also send simple messages by making use of its buttons on the side. In addition to this, the Dot also supports Open API, which means that anyone can develop or adapt apps for it.
It has been quite some time now that several digital devices for visually impaired have been around, however, most of them use sound. This implies that either a user has to plug in headphones and detach from surrounding sounds (that are vital to blind people), or make their information public. Both cases are problematic for the visually impaired. Besides, the existing digital Braille reading devices are mostly bulky and expensive and only about 5% of visually impaired people own one.
It has been 3 years since the Dot smartwatch is in development and the company plans to begin the delivery to around 140,000 backers (they also claim that Stevie Wonder is one of them). 100,000 watches have been planned to be shipped in 2017 starting from March and the remaining 40,000 next year. 1,000 units will be sold on retail in London for $320 too.